Get Out and Get Under the Moon

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I was 12 on July 20, 1969. We had just moved to the Town of Cortlandt, a wooded hamlet an hour north of New York. The public schools were becoming too rough and classes too crowded in northern Manhattan, and my artist parents didn't have the means for private school. So on that Sunday, I was in my room with my father's reel-to-reel recorder taping the audio of CBS anchor Walter Cronkite coming out of a small white portable TV set with an antenna.

Cronkite was was providing commentary as the Eagle lunar lander descended to the moon's surface. I have no idea why I was taping the special news report. I suppose documenting it made me feel part of the process. Or it was the inner journalist emerging. Interestingly, 43 years later, I would interview Buzz Aldrin for the WSJ about living in that lander for 21 1/2 hours and how he and Neil Armstrong almost were unable to leave the surface when it was time to depart (go here).

So today, with the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and walk tomorrow, let's get in the lunar groove with 10 timeless pop and jazz songs about the magic of the moon:

Here's Paul Whiteman and Bing Crosby in 1928 on Get Out and Get Under the Moon...



Here's Maurice Chevalier in 1930 singing Livin' in the Sunlight...



Here's Art Tatum's Oh You Devil Moon in 1939...



Here's Frank Sinatra in 1940 with Tommy Dorsey's orchestra and Sy Oliver's arrangement of East of the Sun and West of the Moon...



Here's Glenn Miller's Moonlight Serenade in 1941 from the film Sun Valley Serenade (followed by Pat Friday overdubbing actress Lynn Bari singing I Know Why and So Do You)...



Here's Nat King Cole in 1947 playing piano and singing If You Stub Your Toe on the Moon...



Here's June Christy with Stan Kenton in 1947 singing How High the Moon...



Here's Sarah Vaughan in 1958 singing Moonlight in Vermont with Count Basie's band minus Basie.



Here's Dinah Washington's Destination Moon in 1962...



Here's Julie London in 1964 singing Fly Me to the Moon...



And here's Woody Shaw's The Moontrane in 1974...



Bonus: Here's Artie Shaw in 1941 playing Lennie Hayton's arrangement of Moonglow...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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